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#2043347 - 03/05/13 01:20 PM Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced  
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I don't think this has been mentioned on the forum so far. From Norman Lebrecht's blog:

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippedd...s-in-van-cliburn-competition-finals.html

Two days after the founder’s funeral, 30 finalists have been announced for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held May 24-June 9 in Fort Worth, Texas. Three are from mainland China, one from Taiwan and at least one of the US entrants, YouYou Zhang, is of Chinese parentage.
The absence of British, German and Austrian candidates is striking, but may be ascribed to a sharper talent-spotting mechanism. A young UK or German pianist like Benjamin Grosvenor and Alice Sara Ott will be spotted and signed to a record label long before the audition juries at Cliburn report back with their shortlist.


The Cliburn is open to pianists aged 18 to 30. Here’s the full rundown.
Luca Buratto, Italy
Age during Competition: 20

Sean Chen, United States
Age during Competition: 24

Alexey Chernov, Russia
Age during Competition: 30

Sara Daneshpour, United States
Age during Competition: 26

Alessandro Deljavan, Italy
Age during Competition: 26

Fei-Fei Dong, China
Age during Competition: 22

François Dumont, France
Age during Competition: 27

Yury Favorin, Russia
Age during Competition: 26

Lindsay Garritson, United States
Age during Competition: 25

Jayson Gillham, Australia
Age during Competition: 26

Giuseppe Greco, Italy
Age during Competition: 23

Ruoyu Huang, China
Age during Competition: 24

Claire Huangci, United States
Age during Competition: 23

Vadym Kholodenko, Ukraine
Age during Competition: 26

Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia
Age during Competition: 20

Marcin Koziak, Poland
Age during Competition: 24

Kuan-Ting Lin, Taiwan
Age during Competition: 21

Steven Lin, United States
Age during Competition: 24

Alex McDonald, United States
Age during Competition: 30

Gustavo Miranda-Bernales, Chile
Age during Competition: 22

Nikita Mndoyants, Russia
Age during Competition: 24

Oleksandr Poliykov, Ukraine
Age during Competition: 25

Beatrice Rana, Italy
Age during Competition: 20

Tomoki Sakata, Japan
Age during Competition: 19

Scipione Sangiovanni, Italy
Age during Competition: 25

Hyung-Min Suh, South Korea
Age during Competition: 23

Alessandro Taverna, Italy
Age during Competition: 29

Jie Yuan, China
Age during Competition: 27

YouYou Zhang, United States
Age during Competition: 29

Eric Zuber, United States
Age during Competition: 28

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#2043353 - 03/05/13 01:26 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Thanks for posting this.

BTW it puzzles me a bit that such emphasis is sometimes placed on the nationality or ethnicity of the contestants, and for example I personally don't find it noteworthy at all that there are no British, German or Austrian contestants. I thought the nationality issue was very important at the Tchaikovsky in 1958, but otherwise, sure, it's been of some interest but not like all that.

#2043376 - 03/05/13 02:33 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Without even knowing most of them of their backgrounds, I already see three who I know study with Kaplinsky, the main pre-screening juror. You would think after all the problems they had with that in previous years they would make some amends, but no.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 03/05/13 02:37 PM.
#2043384 - 03/05/13 02:48 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Opus_Maximus]  
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Without even knowing most of them of their backgrounds, I already see three who I know study with Kaplinsky, the main pre-screening juror. You would think after all the problems they had with that in previous years they would make some amends, but no.

But legitimately, is it surprising that some of the contestants would be students of one of the most noted teachers? I don't think so. It seems well within what would legitimately be expected. And BTW I don't know that there has been any established "problem" of the sort you're mentioning, and I don't think there has been.

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#2043387 - 03/05/13 02:49 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Opus_Maximus]  
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I was going to say that I see a rather large amount of students from the Juilliard school overall...

#2043389 - 03/05/13 02:51 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Originally Posted by fnork
I was going to say that I see a rather large amount of students from the Juilliard school overall...

Oy. grin

Isn't that like expressing surprise over Nobel Prize nominees often coming from Harvard and Oxford?

#2043393 - 03/05/13 03:06 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Without even knowing most of them of their backgrounds, I already see three who I know study with Kaplinsky, the main pre-screening juror. You would think after all the problems they had with that in previous years they would make some amends, but no.

But legitimately, is it surprising that some of the contestants would be students of one of the most noted teachers? I don't think so. It seems well within what would legitimately be expected. And BTW I don't know that there has been any established "problem" of the sort you're mentioning, and I don't think there has been.


Now that i just checked, it's actually five - five that all study with the same teacher. That is 1/6 of the contestants. And those are the only ones I even checked, there maybe even more.

And mark, legitimately, yes, I do think it is surprising because when you think of how many other great pianists are studying around the world not with her (All of the pianists in the great Russian and European conservatories, people in Curtis and Yale or Colburn, young pianists in China, etc.) you realize it should be much more evenly dispersed. 280 pianists applied for this competition, of the 30 that got in, at least 5 study with the same person - not even just at Juilliard, but with the same person, the one that happens to be deciding who gets in.

In the 2005 Cliburn, there was the same situation (I think it's in the archives here somewhere), the foundation took very heavy criticism, and Kaplinsky received several death threats, so it was in fact quite a problem for them.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 03/05/13 03:08 PM.
#2043394 - 03/05/13 03:08 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Opus_Maximus]  
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
....In the 2005 Cliburn, there was the same situation (I think it's in the archives here somewhere), the foundation took very heavy criticism, and Kaplinsky received several death threats, so it was in fact quite a problem for them.

The "death threats" thing doesn't do much to support the legitimacy of the complaints. If anything, we should admire them for not shying away from doing whatever their musical judgment told them was best, in the face of "death threats."

#2043415 - 03/05/13 03:46 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Why nobody did notice that there are SIX Italians ( I'm quite proud of that ) instead? At the end Italy is only 23 times smaller as population than China.



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#2043423 - 03/05/13 04:00 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Ataru074]  
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Originally Posted by Ataru074
Why nobody did notice that there are SIX Italians ( I'm quite proud of that ) instead? At the end Italy is only 23 times smaller as population than China.

I modestly propose that at least 5 of the Italian candidates be stricken, and that the entire roster be revised to reflect proportional representation from every country and ethnicity, and from every conservatory, university, and teacher. smokin

#2043426 - 03/05/13 04:11 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Well, one or two of the prescreening jury are Italian, after all! laugh

#2043439 - 03/05/13 04:34 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Without even knowing most of them of their backgrounds, I already see three who I know study with Kaplinsky, the main pre-screening juror. You would think after all the problems they had with that in previous years they would make some amends, but no.

But legitimately, is it surprising that some of the contestants would be students of one of the most noted teachers? I don't think so. It seems well within what would legitimately be expected. And BTW I don't know that there has been any established "problem" of the sort you're mentioning, and I don't think there has been.

I think the problem arises when one's own teacher becomes their judge at such a prestigious competition. You're not just demanding of the judge/teacher that they avoid bias due to relationship (which I think is easily possible), but you're also asking that judge/teacher to avoid bias based on the fact that the student is going to play most like the way you like to hear it simply by virtue of their studying with you (which is much more difficult to ignore).

I feel, if one's teacher is involved in a competition, then that pianist should be judged by another. It is not fair to the teacher or the student, nor is it fair to anyone else entering the competition who is not studying with that particular teacher.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2043440 - 03/05/13 04:34 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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I wonder about the same thing O-Max was talking about... But I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

But at the same time, if someone is a juror, don't they abstain from hearing/submitting their feedback from their own students? For example, let's pretend there are 5 jurors for a competition. If a contestant is the student of one of the jurors, doesn't that juror abstain from any sort of judging for that student? Does the Cliburn work like that?

#2043486 - 03/05/13 06:19 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Hmmm, there are actually quite a few names that I was expecting to see that, surprisingly, aren't there. I am, however, not surprised by the...ahem...backgrounds of some of the contestants.

#2043534 - 03/05/13 08:13 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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As I understood it from the website, there were 13 members of the screening jury of which Ms. Kaplinsky was one person. Maybe she is the Nadia Boulanger of our day and everyone so respects her that her students automatically get higher scores in competitions because of their teacher. I would prefer to think there is a different halo affect going on here: that certain conservatories, Julliard being the most noted example, attract the best students interested in a performance career, and that therefore the bias in selecting finalists is by conservatory, not really by teacher. Or maybe it's something of a talent bias: the most talented competitors rise to the top by virtue of going to the top schools and studying with the top teachers, who impart to them the secrets of become a top-notch concert pianist. These secrets are then used by them to put together compelling professional performances on CD or live on stage.

Of course, that can't be quite true either, or how else would Lang Lang, Yevgeny Kissin, Benjamin Grosvenor, and quite a few others have careers without being competition winners? Given that fact, I would go along with Mark's suggestion that the competition finalists be allocated by nationality, school, and teacher, since out in the concert world, and over time, it doesn't seem to matter who wins these competitions.


#2043559 - 03/05/13 09:14 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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The list of competitors comprises a fair number of repeat offenders . And the Kaplinsky discussions are off to an early start, though not much there is beyond the déjà vu category.. I have a bit less enthusiasm for this competition already. But may be I will change my mind later. Who is running it now that Van and Rodzinsky are out (is he not) ?
I am also wondering who among today's top stage performers are former Kaplinsky students ?

#2043614 - 03/05/13 11:00 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Numerian]  
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Originally Posted by Numerian
....I would go along with Mark's suggestion that the competition finalists be allocated by nationality, school, and teacher, since out in the concert world, and over time, it doesn't seem to matter who wins these competitions.

I hope you're kidding as much as I was, which was 100%. grin

But seriously folks... ha ...I think it's mostly this thing you said:

Quote
....Or maybe it's something of a talent bias: the most talented competitors rise to the top by virtue of going to the top schools and studying with the top teachers....

#2043617 - 03/05/13 11:07 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Originally Posted by fnork

Two days after the founder’s funeral, 30 finalists have been announced for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held May 24-June 9 in Fort Worth, Texas.


Cliburn was not the founder of the competition. In fact, I read in one of the obits that he was embarrassed by the idea of naming the competition after him.

#2043628 - 03/05/13 11:25 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Orange Soda King]  
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I wonder about the same thing O-Max was talking about... But I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

But at the same time, if someone is a juror, don't they abstain from hearing/submitting their feedback from their own students? For example, let's pretend there are 5 jurors for a competition. If a contestant is the student of one of the jurors, doesn't that juror abstain from any sort of judging for that student? Does the Cliburn work like that?


I think you are right - jurors at the Cliburn don't vote on their own students, at least not in the main competition. I'm not sure about the pre-screening.

There are several problems with that practice, the most obvious of which is that it means that the jury is not the same for all of the competitors, which makes the competition inherently unfair.

I forgot which competition it is, but I remember that there is at least one that simply bans the students of jurors from entering, which seems the best thing to do, at least to me. I know there are arguments against doing that, but I don't think they are as strong as the argument for it.


#2043654 - 03/06/13 12:33 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Derulux]  
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I think the problem arises when one's own teacher becomes their judge at such a prestigious competition. studying with that particular teacher. [/quote]


This, I believe is the crux of the issue. It's simply not fair to the other competitors. Even if they are not allowed to vote, other problems arise. They can (and will):

- Give low scores to other strong performers to lessen the threat against their student.
- Manipulate and coerce other jury members to vote for the student
-Throw off the balance of scores - as WR said - for pianists being judged by 10 jurors as opposed to 13 (Or whatever).

The above is not speculation. I've witnessed it many, many times, and had a teacher admit to me that he frequently did #1.





Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 03/06/13 12:34 AM.
#2043656 - 03/06/13 12:42 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Opus_Maximus]  
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

...and had a teacher admit to me that he frequently did #1.


Which is:
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

Give low scores to other strong performers to lessen the threat against their student.


eek

This is one reason why I despise music competitions...

#2043772 - 03/06/13 06:54 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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This was reportedly how Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky competition. One of the jurors, Sviatoslav Richter, gave Cliburn all 10's and all the rest of the competitors all 0's.




#2043791 - 03/06/13 08:15 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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The whole thing sounds very questionable.

#2043800 - 03/06/13 08:54 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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I look forward to hearing more from Fei-Fei Dong. I found her playing at the Chopin competition very interesting - even with a few slips of the fingers.

I wonder how many Liszt Sonatas and Prokofiev #2s we get to hear this quad!

-Daniel


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#2043842 - 03/06/13 10:34 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Numerian]  
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Originally Posted by Numerian
This was reportedly how Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky competition. One of the jurors, Sviatoslav Richter, gave Cliburn all 10's and all the rest of the competitors all 0's.
While what you say about Richter's scoring seems to be generally held as true, that doesn't mean it caused Cliburn to win the Tchaikovsky, i.e. someone else would have won if Richter hadn't given other competitors 0.

#2043845 - 03/06/13 10:45 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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Also, Richter wasn't a teacher with a vested interest in a particular competitor.


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#2043869 - 03/06/13 11:57 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Kreisler]  
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BTW, somebody should say.....

These aren't the "finalists," they're the contestants. (I see that Fnork was just quoting from the blog, but the blog has it wrong.)

Back to the discussion: I'm surprised there's so much feeling like what's being expressed. I wonder if it's representative of what the music world at large thinks. I sure hope not. Competitions are imperfect, and many people think they're inherently terrible -- but for what a competition is, I just fail to see anything in the Cliburn that's close to the corrupt and scandalous kinds of things being said here.

#2043871 - 03/06/13 12:03 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]  
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It seems to me that a teacher who has students participating in a competition should automatically be ineligible to be a judge in that competition at any level because objectivity is compromised. There is an inherent conflict of interest. It is a principle in many other areas -- law, business, science. Not sure why it is so foreign to music .

#2043896 - 03/06/13 12:53 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: sophial]  
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Originally Posted by sophial
It seems to me that a teacher who has students participating in a competition should automatically be ineligible to be a judge in that competition at any level because objectivity is compromised. There is an inherent conflict of interest. It is a principle in many other areas -- law, business, science. Not sure why it is so foreign to music.
Although perhaps not the perfect solution, I agree with this. As has already been pointed out teachers, even if teachers are not permitted to vote for their students, there are other ways of influencing the outcome in favor of their students and so the conflict of interest cannot be eliminated.

Are there any competitions that have tried this approach?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/06/13 12:54 PM.
#2043910 - 03/06/13 01:11 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: sophial]  
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How things have changed....

Fanny Waterman, founder and chairman of the jury of the Leeds Competition since its inception in 1963, was very embarrassed when her pupil Michael Roll kept getting through each round as favorite, and eventually won that first competition, despite her trying to get the jury members not to give him first place.... wink


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